Jets head coach keeps the faith
Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency
|Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart (l) ties up New York Rangers' centre Brandon Dubinsky during an NHL hockey game in Winnipeg on Oct. 24, 2011. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)
WINNIPEG - Although the results might suggest otherwise, Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel continues to see progress with his group.
The Jets took Tuesday off after dropping a 2-1 decision to the New York Rangers on Monday night and will hit the road for a seven-game road trip that starts Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“Yeah, it takes time,” said Noel, whose team is 2-5-1 and in last place in the Southeast Division to this point. “The next step is to get us to win games.”
Noel wasn’t ready to unveil how he plans to use his goalies on the road trip, but was happy with how Chris Mason played in Monday’s loss and has said repeatedly that he has two good goalies, including starter Ondrej Pavelec.
“Anytime you can create competition, it’s good,” said Noel.
The Jets remain among the lowest scoring teams in the NHL, with just 17 goals for in eight games (with five of those coming Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes).
“We had a lot of pressure in the third period, we had (the Rangers) hemmed in there but the bottom line is that you’ve got to get the goals or not give them up,” Mason said after the game on Monday. “That’s the difference in winning or losing. We’re getting there, but we just seem to be having a tough time putting it all together in back-to-back games.”
There was some positive news for the Jets coming out of Noel’s session as he said centre Jim Slater, who missed Monday’s game with an upper-body injury, will travel with the team on the upcoming road trip and should be back in the lineup soon.